So I mentioned I'd be reviewing some apps by one developer in particular and this here is that review.
Before I get into it, for the sake of honesty and some fairness, I absolutely love this developer's work. Anything made by ICONIC Themes I'll immediately pick up without even looking at the icon pack. Insta-buy in my book by default. I've been a fan since I discovered their first icon pack ages ago. I've pretty much always had at least two icon packs by this developer on my phone at any given moment.
Then again I feel the same way about a number of other icon pack developers out there. I honestly can't list them all but if you pushed me to give you a short list of other people's work worth checking out I'd say look into Vertumus, stealthychief, Samer Zayer, RyanMKelly and Fraom.
That said, let me share with you everything they've got out so far and for the sake of not making this post ridiculously lengthy and pictured filled I'm just going to show you my homescreen in all the screenshots, mostly because it'll give you a really good idea of the icon packs themselves and also give you the opportunity to note the differences between each one because man oh man are there quite a few!
Oh yeah, the developer recently created and released two watch faces! Ballistic ($0.99) and Viper ($0.99), both of which look absolutely stunning on my Moto 360. I'd include screenshots but the screenshot taking part of Android Wear leaves a lot to be desired and I suck at taking pictures of my watch with my phone. I'm not quick enough and the screen always dims on me. THIS IS WHY I AM NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER! I only play one on TV. (No, I don't! That would blow too many minds if it was true. "bangishotyou is an actor?!" Minds proceed to be blown. Etc etc etc.)
Sweet! ($1.99) is hands down my favorite icon pack. Period. Ever since it debuted I've been rocking it on my phone. I switch things up semi regularly as soon as ICONIC Themes releases anything new, but no matter what icon packs come out or get distributed early for beta testing (via the Google+ community) I inevitably default back to the Sweet! icon pack. It simply looks amazing!
To quote the hero of Canton, the man they call Jayne, "Pretty cunning, don't you think?" I Certainly think so.
Also, to semi get away from the main focus of this post, you'll note my homescreen is anything but stock. It's got a stock appearance, but you'll spot quite a few things that you might be wondering about. First off, I'm using a custom launcher. More specifically Nova Launcher (and Nova Launcher Prime on top of that). The reason for that is because I love using gestures to launch certain apps, not too mention the fact that as has been noted more than once recently (hola a_blackpanthera!) my icons are clearly smaller than the norm and Nova lets you do that. Plus it lets you set and use non-stock icon packs, like the one you see in the screenshot. So it's got that going for it, which is nice. : P As for the weather widget you see there that comes courtesy of Weather Timeline, which is the BEST weather app for use on Android. Period. Being a fan of quotes, I've got Brilliant Quotes & Quotations setup to show me a different quote every thirty minutes. (If you don't know me on a personal basis then you really have no idea how much I love quotes. I have a quote for almost everything. Don't test me on that right now. I'm in Friday mode already and thus my brain is on cruise control.) As for those two half arrows on either side of Spidey there, they come courtesy of Popup Widget 2. Popup Widget 2 basically lets you set widgets that appear when you press on certain areas (as you can make them invisible if you so desire) or with certain buttons like you see there. (To further take away from the focus of this piece let me show you what I mean with two screenshots.)
Tapping on the arrow on the left launches Jack's Music Widget, which I have set by default to launch Pocket Cast. Although in this case I was recently listening to Google Play Music and thus you see what you do there, which was the last thing I was listening to.
Tapping anywhere on the homescreen that isn't that widget makes it "disappear" and you see the arrow to launch it again.
Tapping on the arrow on the right launches Sound Search, which comes in handy when I'm in a vehicle with a friend or friends and something comes on the radio that we don't know and want to identify. Again, tapping anywhere on the homescreen makes it go away.
I'm a fan of a clean homescreen and that's why I use and love Popup Widget 2. I don't like having more than one homescreen page, so using my traditional setup and in conjunction with that I've got all the widgets I need instantly at the ready for launching and hiding when they're no longer needed.
Flex ($1.99) is a rather new icon pack by ICONIC Themes, I want to say it came out just before Christmas if memory serves me correctly and honestly this is my next go to after Sweet. Also, please don't say "it's just got a fold". Sure, that's the notable part of it but that's not all it is. The colors are a bit brighter and to my untrained and also optically aided eye remind me of pastels almost but not quite. (Did I mention I know next to nothing about colors too?)
And now the one that kicked serious ass upon release.
HERACon ($1.99) came out shortly after Google IO this past year and goddamn did it look great! In fact it still looks great.
For those unaware, Project Hera was the code name given for basically Google's attempt to unify the look of everything. EVERYTHING! And quite a few developers set about capturing the overall look with so so many icon packs (I could list all the ones inspired by "Hera" but we'd be here far longer than we all want to be), none of which hit the mark in my book save HERACon.
But wait, there's more!
BlackPOP ($1.99) is essentially Sweet! mirror imaged. That honestly has to be one of my favorite things about this dev. Sometimes you look at an icon pack and you dig it but you can't help but think to yourself, "It's like 'how much more black could this be?'" And the answer is no-... wait, sorry. Went This is Spinal Tap there for a second. Curse you, Nigel Tufnel! (I kid. Nigel Tufnel is awesome. "These go to eleven." He says completely deadpan.)
Of course it's worth pointing out that darker icon packs like this one work much better with not so bright wallpapers. Then again that could just be my thoughts on the matter. I'd give a better example by changing my wallpaper but to be honest why should I do all the work. Half the fun of icon packs and custom launchers and all of it is making your device yours. Have fun with it! See what you like and what works best for you. (At this point I will be severely disappointed if anyone has read up to this point and not even remotely mentally shown interest in giving any of this customization stuff a go. FOR SHAME!)
And then you've got another "none more black" one.
Black Flex (currently discounted to $0.99, from the usual $1.99). Again, mirror image of the regular Flex icon pack. For some reason, of all the "this one is black" packs from this developer this is the one I like most. Not quite sure why, I just do.
Last but not least...
BLACKMoon ($1.99) would be the black version of HERACon. And yet again I apologize for refusing to change my wallpaper to best display the icon pack. But such is life, to quote the final words of Ned Kelly. (I told you I have a thing for quotes!)
Correction on that last but not least thing.
GlowPop ($1.99) is one of the most outrageous icon packs by this developer and it is simply awesome! I don't know, maybe I don't have enough glowing things in my life but this icon pack has a permanent place on my device for when I need some glowing in my life. (Also, I now really want one of those ring lollipop thingys. Wasn't that their name? BlowPop or something like that. Which is a hilarious name for a product to my "lives in the gutter" juvenile mind. I don't care if I'll be 30 this year! I don't have to act my age.)
And that's mostly all folks!
Nah, I'm kidding. That covers all the icon packs by the developer that I own, but that is definitely not it. So you've got a rough idea by this point how the packs differ. Remember, again, that I was simply too lazy to show you my app drawer. Not the least reason for which is I tend to use apps the average person doesn't. Why is that important? Simple, it means in some cases that apps in my app drawer are unthemed. Now, don't take that as a knock against the developer. He does amazing work and releases updates for requested icons on seemingly a weekly basis (I can't give specifics because time barely exist to me and I'd rather not be called out as being wrong on that point). So it'd be kind of silly to show you unthemed icons.
That said, I've shown you the icon packs but not the apps for them. Now, once installed you basically have an icon with the icon pack's name in your app drawer. Fire it up and you'll be greeted with the latest changelog (which list any changes, duh!) and tapping that clears it away.
You'll immediately see the following after that.
If you run with things from there and tap that top card you'll be able to set the icon pack easily enough.
Tapping on your installed launcher of choice brings up the following.
And of course swiping to the right from the main screen brings you quote a few options.
Without going through each one for screenshot purposes...
Wallpaper. Tap this and you'll see a number of wallpapers that go with the icon pack. Tapping on any one of them pulls it down for you from the cloud and you can either save it to your device or crop it and set it from there.
Icons. This one shows you all the icons included in the app and far a really large number there are alternatives. So if you don't like the "default" icon you can always select another one
Request Icons. This one is one of my favorite features of this or any similar icon pack app. Tap on this and you'll instantly be taken to another screen where all unthemed icons will automagically be pulled up for you. Simply swipe away any you don't want theme and then tap on the Mail icon on the top right and it'll gather the necessary info and you can shoot out an email to the developer, who'll make note of it and update the app accordingly with additional icons as he fills out requests. (Keeping in mind that patience is a virtue and this developer is updating numerous icons for numerous apps across the board.
From us to you
Edit. So I removed the links already. If you're interested in what was here check the links throughout the post above. Everything is available via the Play Store and is far more up to date than what I shared with those APK files that were right here yesterday.
The only one I'm semi leaving is OPO+ Icon Pack, which is available for free in the Play Store. That one is a free icon pack by the developer. On a related note, he contacted me this morning and he's released it in a black version as well. BLACK+ ($0.99) and for the record it features over 3,600 icons! That's insane! (On reddit the other day there was a thread asking for recommendations for any icon pack that had over 2,000 icons and there were quite a few from quite a few known developers, all of which I investigated out of curiosity and none of which came close to having 3,000 icons. Much less 3,600.)
Also, I feel it's worth stating that there is more definitely on the way from this developer.
That's an early sneak peek at one of his upcoming icon packs.
And that's an early look at an upcoming watch face. (Face, people. Don't go thinking you'll be able to tap on all those things and launch the respective apps. I don't think that's possible just yet on Android Wear or the associated SDK or APIs available for it, but someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.)
Speaking of more that's on the way.
Here's some screenshots of the current watch faces that have been released by the developer.
Assuming you install those, don't expect to see an app for them on your device. To access and set them on your Android Wear device you'll need to fire up the Android Wear app. Once you've done so you just tap on the watch faces and then do so again to access their respective settings, at which point you can make changes per your preference.
And that is all I have for you all today.
Thoughts? Questions? Hate? Whatever you got send it my way and I'll address it in due course.
Seriously though, check out ICONIC Themes stuff. You won't be disappointed. Also, thank you kind sir for the work you do and letting me share those APKs with anyone who reads this. Very awesome of you!
On a completely unrelated note, I got a song to share with you all that I shared with another Odecker two nights ago and which promptly blew his mind.
I present to you the amazing William Elliott Whitmore and "Diggin' My Grave". If you even remotely dig that tune be sure to listen to Ashes to Dust, the album it's off of. It's an amazing album and there are some other gems on it worth listening to.